Josh Richardson On Learning Tom Hanks Has Coronavirus: ‘That’s Too Far. Forrest Gump Has It?’

COVID-19 has made headlines for weeks, and earlier this week, some prominent diagnoses were made in the world of basketball. Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for the virus, and a day later, it was confirmed that Donovan Mitchell also tested positive for coronavirus. It led to the NBA postponing its regular season for the time being, with other leagues following suit.

But for one person in the Association, those two instances of big names getting positive tests weren’t what drove home the severity of this for one NBA player. In a piece by Ramona Shelburne that featured additional reporting from a host of other ESPN writers on the night the league pressed pause, we learned that Josh Richardson of the Philadelphia 76ers was hit especially hard by Tom Hanks testing positive. Hanks, along with his wife, Rita Wilson, took tests that came back positive while in Australia, and as we’ve learned, both appear to be in good spirits as they recover.

As Richardson explained, though, finding out about this put a ton of stuff into perspective.

Philadelphia 76ers giard Josh Richardson learned the season had been suspended as he turned on his phone following a win over the Detroit Pistons.

“We couldn’t believe it,” Richardson said. “Everything became very real, because there’s now people out here who [they] feel like they know. It’s Rudy Gobert. Oh my gosh. It’s Donovan Mitchell. Tom Hanks … and that’s too far. Forrest Gump has it?”

All else aside, hopefully folks as prominent as celebrities and professional athletes getting diagnosed serves as a wake-up call about the seriousness of the virus, namely that it does not care about anyone’s wealth or prominence, and if you’re exposed, there is a risk that you will get infected. Should that happen, ideally it would lead to people looking into preventative measures they can take to give themselves the best possible chance at staying healthy.